Well, four on the bucket list have officially been fulfilled in one week! Aw yeah for being productive.
Yesterday, I went with my “Myths and Legends of Britain and Ireland” class to Camelot and Avalon (no joke!). First was Cadbury Castle, all that’s left of the fort was a well-looking structure made of stone with a map on the top showing that we were in what was known as Camelot. The hill was a bit of a trek but worth the amazing view. Of course, being the silly person I am, I ran up and down the hill to get an idea of how it would be like to attempt to capture that fort. Let me just say, not a smart idea for any invaders. Good luck lugging armor up that hill.
But that doesn’t count as the substantial hike. The real hike came with crawling up the Glastonbury (Avalon) Tor. If you scroll down to one of my first posts you’ll see a picture of the green lush hill, stepped in places, with the monument to Arthur at the top. It’s supposedly where the Holy Grail was buried. And let me tell you, my side was aching after I climbed that. This is the view from the distance!
Not for the faint-hearted. And the chilly English weather helped us out tremendously. Nothing better than an Avalon-y breeze kissing your sweat and urging you forward! We were in the clouds when we reached the top
And yes, cheesy pictures are obligatory when you get a view like that. Our teacher, the ultra-Irish Patrick, was just giddy with excitement and attempted to reign us in with some history and myths and such, but mostly we just explored the hill. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we were on a pretty strict time frame. It sounds corny, but I can easily see how important the Tor was religion-wise to the people at that time, there is something intensely spiritual about making the pilgrimage up to look out at that gorgeous view. You block out the presence of other people and just take it all in for yourself, take deep breaths and let the air fill you up. It was truly amazing, and I’ll never forget the experience!
We also visited the Glastonbury Abbey where King Arthur is buried (yes, you heard that correctly.) The town itself was very kitschy and rode the coattails of the myth of Avalon, filled with crystal shops, healing shops, shops that sold robes and wands etc.. Although it was all in good fun. We had lunch in one of the best fish and chips joints in the area. Sitting where King Arthur is buried was another experience I’ll never forget!
Get a Brit to Cryp Walk with me
Dance a jig with the Irish
Both were achieved in one night! A Moroccan-themed underground club that played cheesy dance music (think Footloose, Spice Girls, etc.) aided in my quest for dance fulfillment. My roommates and I did all manner of awesome dance moves with equally awesome reciprocation from the Brits. Cryp-walking was included, although it was to Shakira, but hey what can you do. It counts! Dictionary.com defines “jig” as “a rapid, lively, springy irregular dance for one or more persons.” That was accomplished throughout the night as we danced with a Scot. Scotland was colonized and populated initially, a longgg time ago, by the IRISH. So I may be tweaking the lines of semantics here, but it counts. We danced jig after jig to Cyndi Lauper, Journey, and all manner of cheese-a-riffic songs. It was so lovely we’re all going out again tonight! Score one for British boys, they know how to have fun
Convert an American into an anti-Austen fanatic
This one came after a few in-depth conversations with my roommate, who is taking the Austen seminar. We started off with little discussions about the initial perceptions of her work. On the whole, there were women writers both before and after here that offered more radical views and better-rounded heroines. Case in point, the heroine most Austen fanatics adore, Elizabeth Bennett. Really, when you look at her, what was her most revolutionary action? She talked back to an older woman above her station, slighted a man who talked crap about her at a party, and eventually married the (convenientally) loaded Mr. Darcy. Her writing is by no means ground-breaking, personally I don’t like a writer that is so obvious in which characters they endorse. After those discussions, my roommate finally vehemently agreed that she does not like Austen, not even in the slightest. Score.